Dundalk High teacher charged with underage sex crimes in Howard

Man accused of fondling girl, 13, in Ellicott City

January 09, 2003|By Jason Song and Jonathan D. Rockoff | Jason Song and Jonathan D. Rockoff,SUN STAFF

A Dundalk High School science teacher was charged with sex offenses yesterday, accused of videotaping himself fondling a 13-year-old Howard County girl on New Year's Day.

Charles Levi Maxwell, 33, of the first block of Dodworth Court in Timonium was charged yesterday with second-, third-, and fourth-degree sex offenses, possession of child pornography and filming a child in a pornographic sex act.

Maxwell was being held last night at the Howard County Detention Center in Jessup in lieu of $100,000 bail.

The alleged crimes occurred in an empty parking lot of a church in the 3200 block of St. John's Lane in Ellicott City, Howard County police said.

The juvenile victim was not identified by police because of the nature of the crime.

Maxwell began teaching business science at Dundalk High School this year. He was also an assistant football coach and adviser to the Future Business Leaders of America, said Dundalk High Principal Margaret T. Johnson.

"I feel like I was run over by a truck. I'm devastated," she said.

While Johnson noted that Maxwell has not been convicted, she added: "These kids, this community, this school is moving forward and I feel betrayed."

The following information comes from police charging documents:

The girl told police that she met Maxwell over the Internet on Jan. 1. The girl exchanged instant messages with Maxwell, who identified himself as "Craig," according to documents. The girl was asked her age, gender and sexually oriented questions.

The girl gave Maxwell her phone number and address. Maxwell called her about 2 p.m. and the two made plans to meet later in the day.

Maxwell picked the girl up later at Blue Barrow Ride and Red Bandana Way in the Columbia village of Dorsey Search.

He then drove the girl to the Baltimore First Seventh Day Adventist Church in Ellicott City.

Maxwell put a camera on the dashboard and asked if he could videotape the girl. According to the documents, she said "No," but Maxwell hit the record button and began to kiss and fondle the girl. He also had the girl touch his genitals, according to documents.

A car passed and Maxwell "panicked," the documents state. He told the girl to put her clothes on and dropped her off a few blocks away, according to the documents.

The girl reported the incident to Howard police that day.

Two detectives went to the victim's home Friday and observed her exchange instant messages with Maxwell. Four days later, the victim instant messaged Maxwell again and set up a meeting with him.

Maxwell made contact with an undercover detective posing as the victim at the arranged meeting site and was arrested without incident. He later confessed to the crimes, according to charging documents.

Later that day, police also searched Maxwell's apartment and said they found videotapes of him having sex. They also found a piece of paper with the victim's instant-message user name, phone number and directions to the prearranged meeting place, according to documents.

Maxwell has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending the outcome of his trial, said Charles A. Herndon, a spokesman for the Baltimore County school system.

Johnson told teachers to refer any students who have allegations about Maxwell to her.

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